Section C - which deals with marks and obstructions - contains the most changes. The major revisions include: The Zone (around a mark) has been expanded from two-boat lengths and defined as "the area around a mark within a distance of three hull lengths of the boat nearer to it. A boat is in the Zone when any part of her hull is in the Zone."
There is a new term Mark-Room: "Room for a boat to sail to the mark, and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark. However, mark-room does not include room to tack unless the boat is overlapped to windward and on the inside of the boat required to give mark-room."
Obstructions on the race course have been rewritten to clarify what one is and obligations to act. For example, the rules now say that a right-of way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either side. The rules also specify that a boat is not able to call for room at an obstruction that is also a mark of the course.
Several resources are available to learn the new rules, including expert interpretation that may help you use them in your racecourse strategy:
Perhaps the best resource is the red-lined document showing ALL the changes - you can get it here...
Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012 (with changes)
In addition, here are some other links that you might find helpful...
- 2009-2012 The Rules in Practice, Bryan Willis, ukhalsey.com
- 2009 Rules Seminar Presented by North U., northu.com.
- Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes, store.ussailing.org.
- Handy Guide to the Racing Rules, 2009-2012, US SAILING, store.ussailing.org.
- The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012, US SAILING, store.ussailing.org.
- UK-Halsey Racing Rules Blog, Butch Ulmer, President of UKHalsey International, discusses the new rules changes. ukhalsey.com/blog
- Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2012, Dave Perry, store.ussailing.org.
- Speed & Smarts by Dave Dellenbaugh. The next issue includes an in depth look at the rule changes. Speedandsmarts.com